Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Playhouse: Ngpartji, Ngpartji

... is Pitjanjatjara for, essentially, quid pro quo.  I confess to a white small-l liberal fear that this was going to be nutritious but dull, but instead it was a really lovely piece of theatre.  In one act of about an hour and forty minutes (some 25 minutes longer than advertised), Trevor Jamieson and his friends and relatives gently took us through some of his family history, and the story of the people of Maralinga, in a piece that was in turns humorous, interactive, and deeply sad. It was engaging and strangely devoid of anger, from people who are surely entitled to some.  The set was simple but innovative, and a pleasure to watch.  Jamieson throughout was charming, philosophical, and remarkably dextrous.  And how nice to see Lex Marinos again.

My day job hosted a session on indigenous cultural awareness a while back - it would have done a lot more good, I think, to have sent us all to see this.

There was a "worthy" bit afterwards, where the opening night speeches and presentations seemed even more interminable than usual, but at least there was a glass of sparkling and some canapes thrown in.

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